Have questions about testing and how private STD testing works?
We’ve gathered your most frequently asked questions about getting tested for STDs, our medical services, communication, billing and payment. More questions? Don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 739-4325.
Getting tested for STDs
Q: Which STD tests do you provide?
We provide STD testing for 8 of the most common sexually transmitted infections that can be detected through blood or urine: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, herpes 1 + 2, HIV and syphilis.
Q: How does getting tested work? Will I get a kit in the mail?
No, we don’t mail kits home. After you confirm your doctor-recommended STD test selection, we will send an authorized test requisition form to the lab of your choice. At the walk-in lab visit, you’ll have a quick specimen draw. For most people, the lab visit takes a about 15 minutes. Usually in 3 business days or less, you'll receive an email notification from "APG Services" including the next steps to access your results. For patients whose test results are positive or require further explanation, we will schedule a consult with one of our doctors. If appropriate and if allowed by state law, the doctor will write a prescription for treatment. Our doctors can always provide linkage to care.
Learn more about how our STD testing service works or call our Care Advisors toll-free at 1.855.SEX.HEALTH (855.739.4325).
Q: Am I at risk for STDs? Should I get an STD test?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 19 million new cases of STDs every year. And those are just the reported cases. Most STDs are “silent” so it’s possible to have an infection and not know it. Getting tested is, in most cases, the only way to know your status. Early detection can literally save your life.
If you are sexually active, you’re at risk for contracting or spreading STDs. Doctors recommend routine STD testing as an important part of maintaining your overall health and the health of those you love.
Q: Doesn’t my doctor automatically screen me for STDs?
The short answer is likely no. Although sexually active people should have regular STD testing and the CDC recommends universal HIV testing, most doctors do not automatically screen their patients. In a national survey of 7300 physicians published in the American Journal of Public Health, fewer than ⅓ routinely test for STDs, well below practice guidelines for women and virtually nonexistent for men.
Chances are, if you haven’t asked for a herpes test, a chlamydia test, an HIV test or any other STD test, you haven’t been tested.
Q: I believe that I was recently exposed to an STD. When should I get tested?
Most people who ask this question are thinking about what happened last night or last weekend. But there isn’t a single right answer for when to be tested for recent exposure to one or more STDs... each type of infection develops at a different rate. Chlamydia or gonorrhea may be detected within a couple of weeks after exposure, while HIV or herpes generally take four to six weeks — or longer — to develop detectable levels of antibodies. If you believe you were exposed to HIV or hepatitis B in the last 72 hours, you can be treated with antiviral medications or a hepatitis B vaccine, reducing the risk of actually developing either disease.
Keep in mind that, regardless of whether you had a possible exposure to an STD very recently, if you have had other unsafe sexual encounters in the past year and have not had a test, it’s time to get tested. Our doctors recommend getting tested at three weeks from your last exposure and again at three months for early detection and confirmation. See our easy-reference STD Testing Windows Guide for more specific testing recommendations.
Q: How quickly can I get my test results?
Test results are ready usually in 3 business days or less.
Q: I only want to get tested once. Is there a downside to that?
Our doctors strongly recommend getting tested three weeks after possible exposure to an STD and again at three months to make sure any infection is detected.
The downside to waiting 3 months after exposure to get tested is that you may risk complications from an infection that is best addressed early on. See our easy-reference STD Testing Windows Guide for more specific testing recommendations.
Q: Is it possible to get the same STD more than once?
Yes. Even if you’ve been treated for chlamydia, for example, you’re not immune... you can be re-infected. That’s why sexual partners should be treated at the same time so that an untreated partner still carrying a bacteria or virus doesn’t re-infect the treated partner. It’s also possible to have more than one STD at the same time.
Q: Will I need a physical exam to get tested for HIV or other the other STDs?
No, the tests we offer require only blood or urine specimen so a physical exam is not needed.
Q: How do I prepare for a test?
You can eat or drink anything you’d like beforehand... there’s no need to fast. The other STD tests do not require any special preparation.
If you are currently taking antibiotics, our doctors recommend waiting 1 week before getting tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis.
Q: Which laboratories will process my STD tests?
Your tests will be processed by one of the labs we work with, all of which are CLIA-certified in the United States. These are the same lab groups that many doctors and hospitals use to process and deliver accurate, timely results. With scientific expertise in esoteric testing, genomics and clinical and anatomic pathology, they perform millions of tests on hundreds of thousands of specimen every day.
Q: What is a “testing window”?
A testing window is the period of time between exposure to an infection and detection of an infection through a blood or urine test. STD tests are designed to detect signs of infection, which usually take time to develop after the initial exposure. For example, if you had sex with someone who has an STD and you became infected, you probably wouldn’t test positive for the recently-acquired infection right away.
Every infection has a different testing window — also called an incubation period — ranging from a few days to three months after possible exposure. To help you decide when to get tested, please call our Care Advisors at (855) 739-4325 or review information on our STD Testing Windows Guide.
Q: What is “seroconversion”?
Seroconversion is the point at which the immune system has developed the antibodies needed to fight infection (“sero” means blood, or serum). For example, the HIV antibody test is most reliable after three months when seroconversion to the virus has most commonly occurred. According to the CDC, most people infected with HIV will develop detectable antibodies within 25 days of exposure, and 97% of people will have HIV antibodies by three months after exposure.
Medical Services and Communication
Q: How will I be contacted about my STD test results?
You will receive an email notification from "APG Services" usually in 3 business days or less prompting you with next steps to access your results. We will never reveal any personal health information in the subject line or body of the email.
Q: What is “APG Services”?
APG Services is short for Analyte Physician Group Services. APG is the name of our physician group. To help protect your privacy, we use “APG” in our email and billing communications.
Q: When will I receive my STD test results and what will I see?
Results will be ready usually in 3 business days or less. You will receive an email notification from "APG Services" prompting you with next steps to access your test results. That is fast and easy.
If your STD test results come back positive, a physician will be available, usually within 24 hours, or you can schedule a time of your choosing to answer any questions you may have. If necessary, they will discuss followup treatment and prescribe medication you can pick up at your local pharmacy. *
Q: Can the doctor write a prescription for medication if I need it?
Yes, the doctor may write a prescription to treat certain STDs. The decision to write a prescription for medication is based on a variety of factors, INCLUDING STATE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, and is always at the sole discretion of the doctor.
Q: How quickly can I speak with a doctor?
If you have a medical emergency, please go the emergency room or call 911. If your question is non-urgent, please call our Care Advisors toll free at 855.SEX.HEALTH (739.4325) so they can direct your call to a doctor or nurse.
For patients who receive positive STD test results or whose results require further explanation, we will schedule a call with a doctor within 24 hours. Or, you may schedule a time at your convenience.
Note: For a known HIV or hepatitis exposure within the last 72 hours, you may have the option of prophylaxis (medication to prevent infection) which is most commonly dispensed at your nearest Emergency Room, although it may also be available through a local STD clinic or your local health department.
Q: My sexual health is personal. How can I be certain that all matters related to testing are kept private and confidential?
As a medical practice, we are committed to providing quality healthcare, including protecting your right to maintain privacy of your health information and securing all your protected health data. Our commitment to your privacy goes beyond offering a confidential service... learn more about how we protect your privacy.
Q: Why do I need to acknowledge the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)?
The Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) informs you of your rights and how we will protect your health information in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We are very serious about protecting your private health information. Learn more about our privacy and security practices.
Billing & Payment
Q: What are my payment options?
We currently accept all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card. The billing charge on your statement will be from “APG Services”. We also accept money order with Western Union, pre-paid gift cards available for purchase at a local retail outlet and Health Savings Account (HSA) cards.
Q: Do all labs accept insurance?
When selecting a lab for testing, we make it easy to understand which labs accept insurance and which do not. Have additional questions? Contact one of our trained Care Advisors for assistance.
Q: What will appear in my email and billing statements?
You will receive email communications and credit card billing from “APG Services.”
Q: Why do I need to provide my address?
Some public health clinics do offer completely anonymous HIV testing, but most health care providers and laboratories are usually required by law to report certain positive STD test results to public health agencies. These state reporting requirements help ensure appropriate follow up treatment and care.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
Within 21 days of placing your STD test order, we offer a full refund before you visit the lab. If you wish to cancel your order, please call us with your account number and the email address assigned to your account for verification.